Gamification in the Fitness Industry

Gamification in the Fitness Industry

Most of us try to workout regularly.  But, let us be honest, working out everyday isn’t easy. Sometimes, the couch looks a lot more inviting than the treadmill. 

If your workouts could be made more fun, more gamelike, more competitive and in the company of friends, it would be easier to meet your fitness goals, wouldn’t it.

Health clubs and gyms have explored the concept of gamification successfully.

In this blog, we will explore how gamification in fitness can help individuals stay on track with their fitness goals. . We’ll explore various ways health clubs and gyms can integrate gaming elements into your workouts, the benefits these strategies can bring, and real-life examples of the fitness industry using gamification.

This approach can increase participation, promote consistency, and create a more exciting fitness journey for individuals at all levels.

How can clubs Gamify the member experience?

Gamification in the fitness industry is a powerful tool to enhance the workout experience, as highlighted by Dr. Paul Bedford. He emphasizes the importance of keeping the gym experience fresh and engaging, noting, “The routine of going to the gym can get boring. We need to focus our energies on improving the exercise experience and creating memorable workouts for members who are just going through the motions.”

This approach is important, especially considering the challenge of member retention, with some people losing motivation and quitting within six months of joining. Bedford suggests that introducing new elements every four to six weeks can help maintain interest and motivation, which is critical for keeping members engaged.


Here are five fun ways to get started:

  1. Set up a points system: This would help members earn points for everything they do, from attending classes to trying out new equipment. You could set up a leaderboard and offer monthly rewards for the top scorers.
  2. Create levels and badges: Just like in video games, create levels or badges that members can achieve by reaching certain milestones. Maybe you get a “Warrior” badge after 100 group fitness classes or a “Speed Demon” badge for hitting personal bests in cardio workouts. It’s a great way to make progress visible and celebrated.
  3. Fitness challenges: Organize regular fitness challenges that encourage members to push their limits. Whether it’s a holiday-themed weight loss challenge or a summer strength competition, make it fun and inclusive with different categories for different fitness levels.
  4. Host team competitions: Teams can bring out a great vibe in the gym. Set up teams and let them compete in various challenges—like which team can log the most miles on the treadmill or who can attend the most yoga classes in a month. It’s a fantastic way to build community and keep everyone motivated.
  5. Leverage tech with a personal touch: Take advantage of your gym management software to not only track workouts, see points, and join challenges but also to keep members informed about their gym activity. Use the app to send updates on their recent visits, cheer them on for consistent attendance, and give them a nudge if it’s been a while since their last workout. You can even offer special prizes for the most regular visitors, adding an extra incentive to keep them coming back for more.

Why Omnifitness and Gamification are the way forward?

As fitness trends evolve, we’re seeing a big comeback in live gym experiences and a steady interest in at-home workouts. Today’s younger gym-goers, who’ve pretty much grown up with everything at a click, from Amazon Prime to Uber Eats, are all about flexibility. They love being able to work out whenever and wherever it suits them. With 72% of Gen Z exercisers mixing it up between home and gym workouts, it’s clear that this hybrid, or Omnifitness, approach is here to stay. And it makes sense—this blend of in-gym and digital workouts not only fits perfectly with a lifestyle that might include working from home or traveling but also amps up the motivation, with folks who train both ways managing to squeeze in about 67% more workouts than those sticking to the gym alone.


Dr. Paul Bedford, a known Retention Guru, put it perfectly: “Operators have been buoyed by the strong return of members to clubs, but I think you dismiss digital at your peril,” he says. “It comes back to share of wallet – we know consumers are doing more digital workouts at home, so do you want that service to be provided by your club or by one of your competitors?”

This quote really drives home why gyms should embrace both digital and physical spaces. By adding gamification into the mix—think points, levels, and challenges both online and offline—gyms can create a seamless, engaging fitness journey that meets the need for variety and convenience, keeping them a step ahead of the competition.

Health club & gym owners, are you curious how Gamification could help you? 

Here are four benefits of integrating gamification into fitness businesses:

  • Boosts member retention: Gamification makes workouts more engaging and fun, which can help keep members coming back. Happy, engaged members are more likely to stay loyal to your gym, reducing turnover and keeping subscription rates high.
  • Attracts new members: Offering a gamified experience can set your gym apart from others. This feature can attract people who are looking for something more than just traditional workouts, helping to increase your membership base.
  • More upselling opportunities: With gamification, you can create levels or challenges that might require members to try new classes or use different equipment. This can lead to increased spending on classes, personal training, and other services.
  • Useful in data collection and personalization: Gamified systems can track member activities and progress, providing valuable data that can be used to tailor marketing strategies, improve facilities, and personalize member experiences. This targeted approach can be useful for member satisfaction and engagement.

Implementing gamification effectively addresses the “weak spot” in member motivation, ensuring that the fitness journey is as enjoyable as it is beneficial. By continuously innovating the workout experience and making it memorable, fitness businesses can significantly enhance their growth and sustainability.

Examples of gamification in fitness apps

Here are some great ways different fitness apps have added a playful twist to keep you moving and motivated.

Run and earn rewards with Nike+ Run Club

The Nike+ Run Club app turns every run into a game. It keeps track of your runs and pushes you to go further by rewarding you with points and badges. The more you run, the more you earn, making each step towards your goals exciting and rewarding.

Get social and competitive with Fitbit

Fitbit isn’t just great at tracking your steps and sleep; it also lets you join a leaderboard to compare your progress with friends. It’s fun to see how you stack up against others, and that friendly competition might just give you an extra push to move a bit more.

Build a meditation streak with Headspace

Headspace makes learning to meditate fun by helping you build a daily habit. It rewards you with badges for sticking with it every day, turning meditation into a rewarding game that encourages you to come back day after day.

Set records and share success with Strava

Strava celebrates your achievements by giving out badges when you complete challenges or hit new personal bests. You can show off these badges on social media, and there’s a Trophy Case that displays all your accomplishments, spurring you on to earn more and compete with your buddies.

Stay hydrated with fun challenges from Water Minder

Water Minder makes drinking water a playful challenge. It sets up hydration goals and cheers you on as you reach them, creating a rewarding experience that helps you keep up with your daily water intake.

These apps show that adding a bit of game-like fun can make fitness and wellness activities much more engaging and enjoyable. Whether you’re running, hydrating, or meditating, gamification can help you stay committed and have fun along the way.

Gamification strategies from gyms around the world

Keeping your members motivated and engaged is key to a thriving gym. Here are some inspiring examples from around the world that showcase how gamification and themed experiences can elevate the fitness experience:

  • Orangetheory Fitness
    Orangetheory Fitness utilizes heart rate monitors and real-time data to create a dynamic group environment. Your members can track their workout intensity and progress alongside others, fostering a sense of community and friendly competition. It’s like having a built-in workout buddy (without the awkward small talk!).
  • Swerve: Cycle Together, Achieve Together!
    Swerve in New York City transforms indoor cycling into a team-based competition. Performance metrics are displayed on a screen, motivating individuals to contribute to the group’s success. This gamified approach fosters a social and interactive workout experience, making spinning a more engaging experience for your members.
  • Nerdstrong Gym
    Nerdstrong Gym in Los Angeles caters to a specific audience by incorporating pop culture themes into their workouts. This unique approach resonates with fans of comics, video games, and other popular media, making fitness feel less like a chore and more like an engaging activity for your members.
  • Illoiha Omatesando Fitness Club
    The Illoiha Omatesando Fitness Club in Tokyo takes a creative approach to their climbing wall, transforming it into a work of art. This unique design element elevates the gym’s ambiance and offers a visually stimulating experience for your members who enjoy climbing.

Here’s how you can level up your members workout experience with SHC

Our platform allows you to make working out fun and engaging for your members. 

What truly sets SHC apart is our exclusive community feature. It allows members to connect with each other, share successes, and find motivation in the achievements of others.


Whether it’s through booking classes, participating in special fitness challenges, or achieving long-term goals, SHC’s Club Management Software is designed to help you seamlessly integrate and manage various gamification strategies within your gym.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on integrating gamification into your fitness space. If you’re curious about how it can work for your gym or just want to bounce around some ideas, do reach out. We’re always here to chat and help you make your club the most exciting place to be!

Content Marketing Manager